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And the [Social Media] Winner Is…

award winner dogPut aside any fears you may have had that the Internet would decrease the amount of time people spend watching TV. Social media has actually enhanced TV viewing.  Once a passive activity where we could plant ourselves in front of the tube and get lost in someone else’s world, watching TV has become a social event. Gone are the days of escaping into the aristocratic world of Downton Abbey or the glamorous lives of Hollywood royalty as they walk the red carpet at the Oscars. The latest trend is not only to watch a TV program, but to also interact with it via social media. Research shows that more viewers are not only posting about their viewing habits but they are also choosing to watch particular programs based on the buzz they are getting on social networks.

During the 3rd quarter of 2013, 15.4% of adult respondents in the U.S. and Canada claimed to post about what they were watching, up from 12.8% in 2nd quarter and 11.5% in 1st quarter. While these numbers are small, they are definitely on the rise.

Live programming, such as The Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards, are two great examples of the use of social media in television viewing. The 2013-2014 Grammy Awards had a record-breaking 34 million social media interactions, making them television’s biggest social event of the 2013-2014 season. And the current tweet count for the 86th Academy Awards is 14.7 million. A study by Infuenster found that more than nine in 10 U.S. female internet users had planned to watch the Oscars and respondents didn’t just plan to watch the awards, 97% said they would use social media while viewing the Oscars.

The survey determined that U.S. female internet users who accessed social media while watching cultural events on TV did so to see other people’s reactions or because it made the show more entertaining. More than half of respondents said that logging onto the social sites made them feel like part of a community. Facebook and Twitter are the social networks female Internet users were most likely to use during the Academy Awards, 82% and 61% respectively. Most importantly, more than four in 10 respondents said they were likely to interact with brands tweeting during televised cultural events, and an additional 48% said they would do so if the brand said or did something funny or interesting.

B2B March 2014 chart[3]

Viewers log on to social sites to follow consumers’ and brands’ comments about the event in real time and they get caught up in the excitement of the event. That is what makes the social media engagement so enticing.


  • Four out of five smartphone owners use their devices to access retail content, according to a comScore study. In July 2012, 85.9 million people age 18 and older visited a retail destination via a mobile browser or app on their smartphones. Amazon sites accounted for 46.6% of visits, followed by eBay with 30.6%. (
  • Millennials make 81% of their retail purchases (by dollars spent) in brick-and-mortar stores. (The NPD Group; 516-625-0700)
  • Moms are 20% more likely to use social media than the general population. Ninety-one percent of moms now use social media regularly and 22% of moms say that if friends and family don’t participate in social media, they are not as much a part of their lives. (
  • Almost nine in 10 Americans (86%) say they tend to watch the same TV channels over and over again with 79% watching 10 channels or fewer regularly. (
  • According to the Seamless Retail study by Accenture, 49% of consumers believe the best thing retailers can do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping channels. Eighty-nine percent of consumers said it is important for retailers to let them shop for products in the way that is most convenient for them, no matter which sales channel they choose. (

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